Saturday, October 07, 2006

What Hastert Should Have Said:

In a hard-hitting opinion piece, USA Today - a publication not noted for Deep and Important Thought - easily came up with the two paragraphs that Dennis Hastert Should Have Said.

Presented with the right timing - and obvious follow-through - it might even have saved his political career.

Now, if a USA Today editorial board could figure this out, why couldn't Hastert and his staff?

Capitol Hill crisis exposes lawmakers behaving badly - Yahoo! News: "'Clearly, I made a grave mistake. The information that was brought to my attention did not constitute convincing evidence that Rep. Foley was a threat to the young pages who come to us to learn the value of public service and to whom we owe a special responsibility. But it certainly was enough to prompt questions - many questions - that were not asked. I should have asked them of Foley. I should have brought the matter to the attention of Democrats as well as Republicans, so we, together, could investigate fully and fulfill our duty to protect the young people in our charge. This could have been handled discreetly until the evidence we've now all seen was unearthed. It then should have been handled forcefully and publicly.

'None of this happened. We know it now only because the media exposed it, and that is an embarrassment. For all of this I apologize to the pages, to their families, to Americans and to my colleagues. But I promise you that this is a lesson sorely learned, and I will make it my business to ensure the procedures will be put in place to make sure that it never happens again.'"

Or in other words; "I was wrong."

These are the three words no politician seems comfortable saying, and no Republican seems capable of even admitting to themselves. This inevitably leads, in the fullness of time, to moments of profound discomfort followed by sudden unemployment.

One can comfortably survive a time in the wilderness for doing the right thing - but when one is forced out of politics for knowing the right thing and refusing to do it, opportunities are limited to those firms that are both intrinsically corrupt - and unembarrassed about their corruption.

That's a short list.

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